Which Country Is the Best When It Comes to Recycling?

December 19, 2016

It may seem like second nature now to throw your plastic bottle into a recycling bin, but it wasn’t long ago (just ask your parents!) when people threw everything into one container: the trash can. Gasp! Yes, it’s true. Although recycling isn’t a new concept, it has taken time for countries to fully adopt recycling programs. For example, aluminum cans were introduced in 1964, but it wasn’t until 1974 before any city in the United States had a curbside recycling program for its residents.

But oh, how recycling programs have grown and thrived! When it comes to recycling, Germany definitely takes the cake. From requiring companies to buy a “Green Dot” for any kind of packaging that they use for their products (the more packaging, the more expensive the “Green Dot”), to having a very sophisticated waste collection system (five different collection cans for all your waste-sorting needs!), Germany has one of the most comprehensive (or thorough) recycling programs in the world.

Want to know how much of their waste is recycled or composted compared to a country like the United States? Germany recycles or composts 65% of their total waste, while the United States only recycles or composts 35%. Earth says, Danke, Germany! (That means “thank you!” in German.)